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Red bean Chili cakes with Miso

Updated on November 10, 2012

Bean burgers

Cast your vote for Red kidney bean cakes
All these flavors together will make you so happy!
All these flavors together will make you so happy! | Source
Fresh and colorful out of the crockpot.
Fresh and colorful out of the crockpot. | Source
Aroma therapy is the smell of onions and garlic cooking in my house. It just smells like love.
Aroma therapy is the smell of onions and garlic cooking in my house. It just smells like love. | Source
The chili spices smell heavenly!
The chili spices smell heavenly! | Source
This is the texture you are aiming for.
This is the texture you are aiming for. | Source
Forming the cakes.
Forming the cakes. | Source
Future fast food!
Future fast food! | Source

Cook Time

Prep time: 45 min
Cook time: 10 min
Ready in: 55 min
Yields: 12 bean cakes


  • 2 cups dried red kidney beans, or 2 cans of kidney beans or any bean
  • 1 large onion, chopped small
  • 1 cup rolled oats, you may use less or maybe more
  • 1/2 cup bean cooking water, again, you may use less or more
  • 8 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 5 tablespoons chili seasoning, I have my own secret mix
  • 3 tablespoons miso, Miso is a fermented asian bean paste or salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons peanut or olive oil
  1. The night before you want to make this recipe soak the beans in 8 quarts of salted water. I used 3 tablespoons of salt. You can also, of course, skip this whole thing by using canned beans.
  2. In the morning, drain the bean soaking water and rinse the beans. Add 4-6 quarts of fresh water, one bay leaf and 4 tablespoons of peppercorns in a tea ball. Set the crockpot on low for 5 hours.
  3. When you are ready to assemble your bean cakes let the beans cool in the water you cooked them in, then take a cup of bean water and set it aside.
  4. Start by sauteing the garlic and onions in 2 tablespoons of peanut or olive oil. When the onions are translucent add the chili seasoning. Saute one to two minutes longer until spices are aromatic. Set pan aside to cool.
  5. When all the ingredients are cool, stir them altogether in a large mixing bowl along with 3/4 cup oatmeal. Then add half a batch at a time into a food processor, and pulse until you see the mixture coming together. I take the first batch and just put it back in the used crock while I process the remainer of the mixture. At this point, you want to decide: will this hold together as a "burger"? If it's too wet, add more oatmeal; if it's too dry, add more bean water. When all the ingredients have been processed add it all back into the mixing bowl and give it a good stir. If you don't have a food processor just mash together with a potato masher.
  6. You are now ready to make the cakes. I use a biscuit cutter to form the cakes. You can just form them with your hands too! I set 2 aside for dinner and placed the rest on a cookie sheet to freeze. When frozen you can store them in a freezer bag or seal them in a vacuum freezer bag. Now that's what I call a future fast food meal!
  7. Saute your bean cakes in one tablespoon of peanut oil on medium high heat, 5 minutes each side. If they are frozen it can take up to 8 minutes on each side.

Bean cakes

This recipe can be made with any bean you like. Keep in mind that making beans in a crockpot can take less or more time than stated in my blog. It depends on the age of the bean and the temperature that your crockpot cooks. I will in a future blog add my black bean cakes. They have a few different ingredients, but they are just as tasty! You, of course, can add things that make it your own. I love making double batches of many of my protein items for future meals. This way you always have a healthy choice available in your freezer.

The chili cakes came as an inspiration to me from my secret chili mix. I love chili but summer is coming and chili seems more like a winter food to me. I still wanted to add these spices to my diet, so I took most of the ingredients from my chili and made it in to a cake that I can now pair with all the wonderful vegetables coming into the markets.

I paired this bean cake meal with my Swiss chard recipe including the onions. In fact, I changed it just a bit and used a cheaper balsamic vinegar and allowed it to cook off a bit longer with spectacular results. This was a tip from a local chef! I also made black rice with miso and cilantro tying the two miso flavored items together. I had 2 ready-to-go mango's and a ripe avocado and dinner was served!

If you don't have miso ,you can always use salt or soy sauce which will change the flavor profile. One last tip: you can buy slider buns that I have been seeing pop up in my local grocery and make awesome little burgers with carmelized onions and serve them with a Belgian Abbey Ale. Yummy--Pub food in your own house!


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